The Modigliani scandal

Ken Follett

Book - 1985

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FICTION/Follett, Ken
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New York : Signet 1985, c1976.
Main Author
Ken Follett (-)
Physical Description
x, 288 p. ; 18 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Early Follett, originally published (UK only) under a pseudonym in 1977: an unlikely but agreeably busy and lighthearted crime-caper--with overlapping art-world plots involving a treasure-hunt, a heist, and a forgery seam. Dee Sleign, an art-history grad student in Paris, stumbles onto the trail of an unknown, long-lost Modigliani painting. So she's off to Italy, tracing the clues from a priest to a rabbi, from Livorno to Pogho. But two other hunters are soon following right behind Dee, hoping to find the Modigliani before she does: one is a detective hired by Dee's Uncle Charles, a suave yet tough London art-dealer (Dee made the mistake of sharing her big news with him); the other treasure-seeker is desperate young art-dealer Julian Black, whose brand-new gallery will fold unless he can come up with a major attraction. (He knows about Dee's hunt because he just happens to read a postcard sent by Dee to their mutual friend, actress Samatha Winacre.) Not complicated enough yet? Well, meanwhile, bitter artist Peter Usher, an overnight has-been, has decided to make fools of London's art-dealers--by sticking them with a series of grand forgeries. Meanwhile, too, the above-mentioned Samantha, a somewhat vacuous idealist, has decided to join with new lover Tom (a con-artist in guru disguise) in stealing the fabulous art-collection of super-capitalist Lord Cardwell (who just happens to be Julian Black's father-in-law). And eventually Follett will reveal one more secret connection--a nice, sly twist--between the London goings-on and the Italy treasure-hunt. . . which results in the discovery of three identical, long-lost Modiglianis! Elaborately contrived and full of holes--but fast-moving, quietly frolicsome, and neatly satiric in its quick-sketch closeups of the gallery/show-biz world: more for Donald E. Westlake fans, perhaps, than for Follett's usual readership. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Introduction   PART ONE - Priming the Canvas I II III IV V   PART TWO - The Landscape I II III IV V   PART THREE - Figures in the Foreground I II III IV V   PART FOUR - The Varnish I II III IV V   The Modigliani Scandal A high-speed, high-stakes thriller from Ken Follett, the grand master of international action and suspense   A fabulous ″lost masterpiece″ becomes the ultimate prize-for an art historian whose ambition consumes everyone around her, an angry young painter with a plan for revenge on the art establishment, and a desperate gallery owner who may have double-crossed his own life away. Behind the elegance and glamour of the art world, anything goes--theft, forgery, betrayal, and maybe even murder.... PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF KEN FOLLETT JACKDAWS ″[A] celebration of uncommon courage and unlikely heroes.″ --People ″Great entertainment.″ --The Baltimore Sun   CODE TO ZERO ″Gripping.″ --The New York Times ″This spy thriller is Follett at his best.″ --People   THE HAMMER OF EDEN ″Hammer will nail readers to their seats.″ --People ″Follett ratchets up the Richter scale of suspense.″ --USA Today   THE THIRD TWIN ″Follett really knows how to tell a story.″ --The Atlanta journal-Constitution ″His scenes whip along. And his ending is absolutely smashing.″ --The Virginian-Pilot   A PLACE CALLED FREEDOM ″An altogether entertaining reading experience.″ --Minneapolis Star Tribune   A DANGEROUS FORTUNE ″A terrific page-turner. Careening thrills ... telling historical detail ... genuine surprises.″ --Los Angeles Times ″Relentlessly suspenseful.″ --The New York Times   NIGHT OVER WATER ″An excruciatingly taut drama on the aerial equivalent of the Orient Express ... thoroughly satisfying ... his best since Eye of the Needle.″ --Publishers Weekly LIE DOWN WITH LIONS ″Sheer suspense.″ --The Washington Post ʺVintage Follett.... This is his most ambitious novel and it succeeds admirably.... Tense, vivid, excating ... satisfies on deep levels.ʺ --USA Today   ON WINGS OF EAGLES ″Absolutely electric with suspense.″ --San Francisco Chronicle ″A marvelous, rare, terrific read.... A superb edge-of-the-seat true story that is as exciting as a novel.″ --USA Today   THE MAN FROM ST. PETERSBURG ″Ken Follett has done it once more ... goes down with the ease and impact of a well-prepared martini.ʺ --The New York Time Book Review   THE KEY TO REBECCA ″A top-flight adventure thriller ... violence, intrigue, and exotic passions ... a vivid page-turner.″ --The Wieshington Post ″The most exciting novel in years.″ --The Cincinnati Enquire   TRIPLE ″One of the liveliest thrillers of the year.... Follett is a master of crafty plot and incredible detail.... A sizzling narrative.″ --Time   EYE OF THE NEEDLE ″Really thrilling.″ --The New York Times Book Review ″An absolutely terrific thriller, so pulse-pounding, so ingenious in its plotting, and so frighteningly realistic that you simply cannot stop reading.″ --Publishers Weekly ALSO BY KEN FOLLETT The Modigliani Scandal Paper Money Eye of the Needle Triple The Key to Rebecca The Man from St. Petersburg On Wings of Eagles Lie Down with Lions The Pillars of the Earth Night over Water A Dangerous Fortune A Place Called Freedom The Third Twin The Hammer of Eden Code to Zero Jackdaws SIGNET Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto. Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa   Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England   Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Pen- guin Group (USA) Inc. Published by arrangement with the author. First Signet Printing, May 1985 30   Copyright @ Zachary Stone, 1976 Introduction copyright @ Holland Copyright Corporation, 1985 All rights reserved REGISTERED TRADEMARK--MARCAREGISTRADA   Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.   PUBLISHER'S NOTE This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.     The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated. eISBN : 978-1-101-43662-2 INTRODUCTION IN A MODERN THRILLER the hero generally saves the world. Traditional adventure stories are more modest: The central character merely saves his own life, and perhaps the life of a faithful friend or a plucky girl. In less sensational novels--the middlebrow, well-told narratives that have been the staple diet of readers for more than a century--there is less at stake, but still a character′s efforts, struggles, and choices determine his destiny in a dramatic fashion. I don′t actually believe that life is like that. In reality, circumstances quite beyond our control usually determine whether we live or die, become happy or miserable, strike it rich or lose everything. For example: Most rich people inherit their money. Most well-fed people simply had the luck to be bom in an af fluent country. Most happy people were born into loving families, and most miserable people had crazy parents. I′m not a fatalist, nor do I believe that everything in life is blind chance. We do not control our lives the way a chess player controls his pieces, but life is not roulette either. As usual, the truth is complicated. Mechanisms beyond our control--and sometimes beyond our understanding--debermine a person′s fate, yet the choices he makes have consequences, if not the consequences he anticipated. Excerpted from The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.